I’m a huge fan of Joss Whedon’s work, and above all, of Firefly, the one show that, if it returned to television, would actually lure me back to sitting through advertisements to watch it. (In the last ten years, the only other two shows I actually made time to watch when they were being broadcast were Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Angel, which my two older kids and I showed up for faithfully during their entire runs.) There are other shows on television that I like: Alias, Rescue Me, The Shield. But I don’t like them enough to tolerate television shills and endless advertising to see them. I just wait until the DVD sets come out, and watch them that way.
Whedon is different. I’ve found in his television work the same touch of grace that I’ve found in some of my favorite authors — Theodore Sturgeon, Clifford Simak, Lawrence Block when he’s writing Matt Scudder. Whedon isn’t just there for the story. He’s in there for something deeper, searching for transcendence and transformation, and you walk away from his stories with more than you took into them. Whedon’s storytelling has grown and gotten deeper; the arc from Buffy through Angel to Firefly demonstrates a writer who keeps pushing himself to be better, who keeps digging deeper for characters and themes and stories, and who keeps daring to take chances.
Today, Serenity, the first movie that originated from the Firefly series, debuts in our area. We’re going to be there. I’m excited.